Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Stress & Success- Post #3

Who would have thought that the two words stress & success can go hand in hand! After reading chapter 7 it became more apparent that "stressful situations" can be classified in a variety of ways and that stress in general can mean something different to every indivvidual. Stress is defined as mental, emotional, or physical strain or tension. Ironically enough, these two can intertwine in two very opposite ways : stress can actually be caused by achiveing great success AND success cannot be achieved by a person unless they are under stress.

In our country, success is magnified and celebrated greatly especially when it is achieved after it seemed impossible to do or after long, hard work. People achieve success in many different ways, weather it be by finally getting fame and spotlight attention after perservering, profiting from a successful business, or overcoming any great obstacles. No matter how great or little the success, most people in our society today either glorify the success of others around they or even become envious of their success. What we don't realize is that there ' is a price to pay' for every success.

Take celebrities and important public figures for example. Since they are famous, they carry with them the responsibility of living up to everyone else's expectations and watching their every move. They have to make sure they keep everyone around them thinking highly of them. This responsibility could potentially bring with it shame, guilt, and pressure. Highly successful people can also be magnets for envious people that would do anything to see them fail and collapse. This could possible make these successful people depressed, afraid, self-destructive, and miserable and can lead them to abuse drugs. There is also another notion known as the "survivor guilt" where people feel guilty for being successful because they feel as if they don't deserve it as much as others do or that fate as treated them better, but at someone else's expense. Also, like they say, once you're at the top of the ladder the only way left is down. Many successful people fail due to stress in their lives.

However, for some people stress is exactly what they need in order to get to the top of the ladder. Take soldiers in the military and police officers for example. They are trained under pressure and in turn do their jobs best under pressure. This type of " mild pressure training" has been found to be very effective. When people practice something in a casual environment and then get thrown into a stressful situation, they often choke under pressure. However, if they are trained under pressure with low levels of stress, they tend to remain more calm, collective, and cool when they have to face the real situation because they have practiced.

In the end, your degree of success seems to be measured by how well you can manage stress or how well you can use it to your benefit!


1. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/intense-emotions-and-strong-feelings/201106/the-downside-success-guilt-or-shame

2. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/choke/201005/want-success-under-stress-close-the-gap-between-practice-and-competition

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